The Sabres have signed Kyle Okposo to a one year 2.5 million contract extension. The grueling anticipation is over people. No more carrying extra napkins in your pocket to dab the sweat leaking from your brow. We all can sleep soundly knowing that one of the possible roster spots available has been taken. Whew!! All kidding aside, I am not exactly sure how we should feel about this move, but given his assistance in helping the team cultivate its recent optimism for success, I understand why this gamble was made. His perseverance and dedication to the club should not be overlooked, and his popularity in the locker room should not be underestimated. While we are not sure about how his particular role will be carved out, we know he is a leader and is willing to represent his teammates when tough questions are asked. Hit the gym hard compadre, you are going to need it. Perhaps management can throw in a hyperbolic chamber. You have an obligation to find an extra gear. I have faith in you.
To the Zemgus Girgensons haters out there the Latvian Locomotive just might have played his last game in the blue and gold. I for one might have preferred him as our spiritual leader instead of Kyle, never quite understood why he is criticized. He plays a role and he has always done what is asked of him. He fights through checks and gets his nose dirty. He has been loyal to the team that took him in the 2012 NHL draft 14th overall. He is not to blame for the clubs failures. I understand that he was a little too one dimensional to justify being chosen in the first round, but he goes about his business with dignity and grit. If they choose to bring him back my only disappointment would be not having space for one of the prospects that need to be given a shot. You have to constantly create a new landscape for success and we have come too far to fail. It just might be time. This being said I once again get perplexed by some of the bashing. Have any of you armchair all stars had a rap video made about you with dancing woman, highlights, and an original song? I think not. This goes out to you “Z”, if we don’t see you on the ice we hope to see you around. Thanks for your service.
To the lineup for the 2023/24 season -
I fully desire and expect changes to strengthen from top to bottom. The Sabres faithful are ready to take on the leagues best. Whether it is through trades or promotion within, Kevyn Adams has positioned himself to take a shot. The Amerks solid playoffs has shown that the pipeline has talent and depth up front. The blueline might need a boost from the outside. A savvy proven veteran for the forward ranks would be nice. Future picks should be on the table. When the puck drops against Buffalo you better be ready.
Here is how I see it -
Forward Keepers –
Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens, JJ Petreka, Jack Quinn, Peyton Krebs, and yes, Casey Mittelstadt
Forward Fillers or Trade Bait
Jordan Greenway, Victor Olofsson, Kyle Okposo, Tyson Jost (RFA)
Defense Fillers or Trade Bait
Henri Jokiharju, Ilya Lyubushkin, Riley Stillman, Jacob Bryson, Kyle Clague (RFA)
Goalie Keepers –
Goalie Fillers or Trade Bait
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Eric Comrie
This is just my possible outline, I am sure that your scorecard might be different. A true hockey trade should always be considered with anybody on the roster. Definitely an exciting time. Can’t wait for the next few months to unfold.
Quick hits from the conference finals –
How about the goal in game two by Aleksander Barkov?
Matt Tkachuk is an absolute stud. Calgary had their hands tied and got some pieces but its truly looking lopsided now. Florida was brave enough to do it and they are being rewarded with spunky and emotional play from a top scoring guy. His rink exit after the overtime goal was stuff legends are made of. I love it.
Sam Reinhart continues to produce and impress. A collision course of former Sabres with the chance to hold the cup. Isn't it odd that the 2nd and 4th pick in the 2014 draft landed on same team that didn't originally select them? Bennett has turned his career around.
Dallas could use some consistent goaltending but Vegas is proving to have a winning structure in place. Everybody seems to be buying into it, even our boy Eichel. Not having to be a leader is proving to be in his best interest.
Chandler Stephenson is continuing to prove that he is the real deal.
Jamie Benn using his stick to break his fall on Mark Stones head was totally irresponsible and unfortunate. With his team looking for an igniting home performance to get back in the series a meltdown was astonishing. Simply said it was reckless and selfish. It was a put your hands over the kids eyes moment. The oppositions dome is not a landing point. We all have times when we snap but you know he was coached to have self-control before this game.